Thursday, September 07, 2006

On Thin Ice

I never felt like I was an impatient person before I became a mother. But there are times when things are stressful and my teeth start to clench and I feel the temperature rising. This weekend a couple of the kids and I were sick. Cleaning up puke, a vicious diaper rash (who knew that could be such a trauma!) and a few other things made me feel pretty drained. Then back to school and back to waking up at 6:00 a.m. Mike's back to coaching football so he's been gone from early in the morning until after supper this week. My bible study plans for fall fell through so it's back to the drawing board on that. Abby is being extremely demanding. I have made a point to spend extra time with her this week. It seems the more I give, the more they demand. Annie is extrememly irritable and is only happy when she is sitting right on my lap. Today, she didn't get a nap, I didn't get the breakfast dishes cleared until after lunch and it all adds up to my patience skating on thin ice.

So when Grant and Jenna got home and started yelling and crying over a video game they were playing I lost it. I yelled that we weren't going to yell at each other. (Where's the sense in that?) They went off to their rooms crying and yelling and Abby was crying because of all the chaos. Not my finest hour as a mom. I think there are some issues that need to be dealt with in regards to video games in our house, but that was not the point. The problem was that all these strains of the last few days added together pushed me to the end of my rope and they took the brunt of it.

I don't know how to be more patient. But I do know that I want episodes like today to be extrememly rare in our home. I'll tell you what I learned about patience in the Beth Moore Bible Study Living Beyond Yourself, Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. It's been almost a year and hopefully I can apply it to my life.

There are two Greek words that translate to patience: hupomone and makrothumia. Makrothumia is the word found in Galatians 5:22. Here's the difference, hupomone is perserverance, endurance and bearing up under difficult things or circumstances inspired by a beneficial expectation. Hupomone is inspired by hope. (You can find hupomone in 1 Thess. 1:3, James 5:11 and the book of Job)

Makrothumia is patience in respect to people. Makrothumia is inspired by mercy. This type of patience, that is listed in the Fruit of the Spirit, is the result of the Holy Spirit in you. It is the most difficult and the most important.

(The previous two paragraphs are paraphrased from Beth Moore's bible study book - It's a great study!)

But what I realized is that I need to have both. I need to endure in tough circumstance like the last few days, keeping my focus on the future hope of Christ's glory. Hopefully as I look towards that and keep focused on Christ the demands and trials of this life will fade.

And I need to have compassionate mercy in the form of patience with my kids. This type of patience is not possible without the Spirit's power. I need to tap into that every day by spending some time in prayer and asking for patience.

I blew it. I asked them to forgive me for losing my patience. We had a good evening together and when we prayed I asked God to forgive me right in front of them. I think it is important for my kids to see me apologize and ask for forgiveness of them and God. It shows them the path to seeking forgiveness and restoration in their own lives.

Galatians 5:22-23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."


jenmil said...

Ah, football season! You return once again, and with you, our love hate relationship!
What a wonderful example to apologize to your children and to our Father in front of them! I had never thought of that one, but I may need to incorporate that. Heaven knows I will have ample opportunity!!

Anonymous said...

Boy, did I have one of those kind of days TODAY! My 2 yr. old decided to spray himself and the whole bathroom with Comet disinfectant cleaner. Where was I while he did this? Tending to my 6 month old who just puked all down the front of herself.
Thanks for the reminder about patience, Michelle. If only it were easy to have patience! :)

Michelle said...

I too just finished the LBY study. LOVED IT! Now I've got to apply and let PEACE REIGN! A challange for me, but I'm willing!

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle said...

oopps posted twice, so I deleted the copy.

Michelle said...

(The Other) Michelle mentioned growing up in Minnesota and missing the fall colors. Not to rub it in or anything, but the trees are stunning right now - almost at peak. Maybe I'll try to take a picture and post it for you. It'll probably take me until Christmas to figure out how to do something that technical!